For decades, we’ve needed passwords to do things online. New forms of authentication will finally let us get rid of them for good. Instead, we’ll use a link sent via email, a push notification, or a biometric scan. Not only are these methods easier—you don’t have to remember your face—but they tend to be more secure.
Computing power will continue to explode in 2022. We now have a considerably better cloud infrastructure, and many businesses are re-platforming to the cloud.
We also see a push towards better networks – 5G is being rolled out, and 6G is on the horizon. That means even more power in our phones, in our cars, and in our wearable devices
A Long-Lasting Grid Battery
We’re using more renewable power than ever. But what happens when the sun sets or the wind stops? Grid operators need a way to store electricity for later. New iron-based batteries may be up to the task. They’re made using abundant materials and could be cheaper and more practical than other types of grid storage.
AI For Protein Folding
Nearly everything your body does, it does with proteins. And the way a protein fold determines its activity. But figuring out the protein structure can take months. An AI called AlphaFold2 has now solved this longstanding biological puzzle, which could make it possible to design drugs for a wide range of diseases quickly.
Malaria kills more than 600,000 people a year, most of them children younger than five. A new malaria vaccine approved by the World Health Organization could help save hundreds of thousands of lives every year. It’s also the world’s first vaccine for a parasitic infection.
Data is a key enabler for all of these trends. All of the digitization in our world today means we have enormous amounts of data available, and data has now become the number one business asset for every organization. We can use data to better understand our customers, research key trends, and get insight into what’s working in our organizations.
A Pill For COVID
A new drug from Pfizer provides effective and broad protection against the covid-19 virus, including the newest variants. Now other companies are developing similar medicines. Combined with vaccines, these pills could provide a way for the world to finally exit the pandemic.
Practical Fusion Reactors
The promise of limitless, carbon-free electricity has for decades inspired researchers to try to make fusion power work. Now one startup plans to deliver it to the grid by the early 2030s. Its design relies on a powerful new magnet that shattered records and should allow the company to build smaller, less expensive reactors.
Synthetic Data For AI
Training AI requires vast amounts of data. Oftentimes, though, that data is messy or reflects real-world biases, or there are privacy concerns around the information included. Some companies are starting to create and sell synthetic data to avoid these problems. It’s not perfect, but it could be a better way to train AI.
A Carbon Removal Factory
Reducing emissions is a key step to mitigating climate change. But it’s not enough, according to the UN. To avoid catastrophic future warming, we must also remove carbon dioxide from the air. The world’s biggest carbon removal factory recently opened in Iceland to do just that.